Clean Language & Symbolic Modelling feels magic, even for Business Model Generation – coaching by phone
Working business models are needed by established companies and by newly set up departments within them, as well as by start-ups. In general terms, the point of business model generation is to find or anticipate anything that is missing or doesn’t work, and to do so as early as possible, and then to determine what changes are needed for the business to function well. Start-ups need to generate an entire business model, and established businesses may choose to replace their model from time to time too, but will often focus instead on updating their current model. We, Wendy Sullivan and Hans-Peter Wellke, help individuals generate their own customised business model for their business. Some have described the process we use as ‘sharpening up the pictures of the entrepreneur’s personal crystal ball’ while others have different descriptions…
“It’s like finding the missing bit in a business model by magic”
The way that the solution emerges, or appears, sometimes gives the impression of it being “like magic“. But it is not: it is the result of very specific facilitation skills that maximise the client’s ability to find their personal way forward them, by harnessing the world of intuitive spoken language, the world of metaphors used by the entrepreneur, systemic thinking, solution-focused clean and clear listening, the CANVAS model and our know-how about identity development. Optionally, it can also include the use of postcard images or the client’s drawings.
In the end, as facilitators, we listen, we use a ‘Clean’ questioning technique that keeps our ideas out of the way, so that the entrepreneur can stay true to their vision and we use of a huge amount of very specific awareness to build a mental model of the client’s idiosyncratic business model as it is revealed. Clean Language (developed by David Grove), Symbolic Modelling (developed by Penny Tompkins and James Lawley) and the CANVAS model for business model generation (see Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur’s book) provide the client (and us as facilitators) with the conditions in which solutions can emerge and the best ‘next steps’ can be established.
Working with Clean Language and Symbolic Modelling sometimes seems magic even to us as coaches because of the way that new and surprising insights appear organically in the course of the exploration. Objectively, it is ‘just’ the very clear, systemic, systematic and solution-focused communication and coaching approach which leads to and activates the inner knowledge and resources of the client.
Feedback from the client after a phone coaching session to generate a new business model with Wendy Sullivan and Hans-Peter Wellke
Below is the un-edited email exchange that followed a first phone coaching session for clarifying a client’s business model for a Start-up.
- „Hello Wendy! Thank you very much for your help today, now it seems to me that some curtains have lifted in front of me 🙂 …and things are falling in their places! First drawing is finished, but second drawing already in process. What I have got from the phone coaching session today is definitely a solution I was looking for! Many greetings!!!“ Birgitt
- „Hello Birgitt, it’s great to have your feedback about your experience, and my guess is that insights will keep coming – so I hope you have drawing paper available for drawing number 3, 4, 5 …! Something you could do if you feel like it, is to put your most recent drawing in the middle of a bigger piece of paper (like a page from a flipoverblok) and draw in everything that belongs around the outside of the original picture. That ‚bigger picture‘ sometimes reveals some extra insights. Have fun! Warm wishes Kind regards“ Wendy
- „Hi Birgitt, great to hear that you became the solution you was looking for. Here are my notes for you. Have fun to find out more about your ´new outcome´ and your business model. I am looking forward to our next phone call.“ Hans-Peter
- “ …and I don’t know how it works, but I definitely would like to learn how to do it. Please don’t forget to inform me about your next clean language seminar. …inspired as I am right now it feels a bit like magic 🙂 “ Birgitt
- “ 🙂 It even seems a bit magical when one does know how it works… and the key thing is that it does work! The way it works is solidly underpinned by findings coming from fields such as embodied cognition and the likes. It’s great to be working in this field. Have a good evening!“ Wendy
About Wendy Sullivan
Wendy Sullivan is one of the most experienced leaders in the field of Clean Language and Symbolic Modelling worldwide. She delivers seminars in Clean Language and Symbolic Modelling and coaches, trains and provides facilitation both face-to-face and at a distance. She is the owner of the Clean Change Company and is the co-author of the book ‘Clean Language’ and of two card sets: ‘Clean Change Cards’ and ‘Clean Metaphor Cards’.
About Hans-Peter Wellke
Hans-Peter Wellke is a Certified Clean Facilitator and a practitioner of Clean Language and Symbolic Modelling. He uses Clean Language in German and in English. He is a facilitator for change and development, working with teams and individuals, and he also works as a trainer, coach and workshop facilitator. Most of his clients are visionary leaders who wish to create the world they would like to belong to. As well as his work with companies, ranging from very small companies to International Blue Chips, Hans-Peter also works with private clients.
- Sullivan, Wendy; Rees, Judy: Clean Language: Revealing metaphors and opening minds
- Sullivan, Wendy; Meyer, Margret: Clean Language in Business: 25 Applications of Metaphor at Work (January 2015)
- Lawley, James; Tompkins, Penny: Metaphors in Mind: Transformation through Symbolic Modelling by James Lawley and Penny Tompkins
- Osterwalder, Alexander; Pigneur, Yves: Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers
- Wellke, Hans-Peter: Blogartikel
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